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Urban Issues: Health Care


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George W. Bush

In 2003, President Bush signed into law the most sweeping changes to Medicare since the creation of the program in 1965. As part of the reforms, he added a prescription drug benefit for senior citizens. Health experts are still divided on what these changes will mean for New York City in the long term. For the future, Bush advocates greater patient choices and $117 billion in tax breaks to help the uninsured pay for health care.

Bush also signed legislation that gives access to Health Savings Accounts and provides a tax deduction for premium costs for major medical coverage. He also has a plan to expand or build 1,200 new community health clinics.

Bush proposes reforms to address rising medical malpractice premiums, and supports legislation that allows small businesses to buy better health coverage, tax credits for catastrophic health care coverage premiums, and improving health information technology. (Learn more)

John Kerry

Kerry proposes allowing every American access to the healthcare plan currently offered to federal employees. He would reimburse employee health plans for the most expensive cases. He also plans to spend $72 billion over five years to offer health coverage for low-income people and children. The federal government would pick up the cost of Medicaid coverage for children in exchange for automatic enrollment of all school children eligible for the Children's Health Insurance Program. Kerry also wants to create a Patients’ Bill of Rights that will force health insurance companies to take responsibility for providing medical care and protect patients from misconduct. (Learn more)

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• Urban Agenda: Health Care
• Medicare Reforms and New York City


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